Business and Technology Trends in 2020.

Business and Technology Trends in 2020

10 January 2020

A new year and a new decade has started. That means that many people including us are looking at the new and forthcoming trends in business and technology.

Looking at the wealth of information available to us, there seems to be a vast number of topics which are being mentioned. Below are some of the ones which caught our eye…

 

Firstly, blockchain.

You are likely to have heard of this over the past few years and are aware of the rise (and fall) of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other “cryptocurrencies”. Fortunes have been made (and lost) with a huge amount of scepticism being levelled, in some cases quite rightly, at the crypto and blockchain industry.

To make things clear:

 

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

- Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016).

  

A blockchain is a time-stamped series of immutable records of data that is managed by many distributed computers and not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. the block) is secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. the chain).

The question which is commonly asked is, what is so special about the blockchain and why do many people believe that it may be disruptive?

 

The blockchain network has no central authority — it is the very definition of a democratised system. Since it is a shared and immutable ledger, the information in it is open for anyone and everyone to see. Hence, anything that is built on the blockchain is by its very nature transparent and everyone involved is accountable for their actions. - Ameer Rosic, Block Geeks

Whether or not we will see blockchain becoming mainstream in 2020 remains to be seen and the accompanying crypto market will no doubt continue to behave like a rollercoaster. You only have to look at Coin Market Cap to see the wild ride of “investment” there.

 

Autonomous things

Sounds fun doesn’t it but what exactly is this?

These things could be robots, ships, cars, appliances or indeed static devices which make use of AI (artificial intelligence) to do things without our input.

Some are fully autonomous and some are semi-autonomous, depending on the complexity and also the data that they can receive and interpret.

 

One of the most well-known examples of this are Amazon’s warehouse robots and also the delivery bots which are already being tested on US streets. Not to forget their drones which have been operating on a limited basis just outside of Cambridge!

 

5G is here and being rolled out

5G is the fifth-generation wireless technology for digital cellular networks that began wide deployment in 2019. As with previous standards, the covered areas are divided into regions called “cells”, serviced by individual antennas. Virtually every major telecommunication service provider in the developed world is deploying antennas or intends to deploy them soon.

5G has been heralded as another revolution in internet connectivity for some time now. it promises some seriously fast speeds… 5G speeds will range from ~50 MB/s to over 2 gigabit at the start, and is expected to grow to even 100Gbps, 100x faster than 4g. The fastest 5g, known as mmWave, delivers speeds of up to and over 2Gbps.

Rory Cellan Jones, the BBC’s tech correspondent has been closely following the 5G roll out over the past few years and even did his first broadcast back in May last year with it. There is a good overview of everything 5G including the UK providers who have rolled it out here.

 

The main issue right now is that the vast majority of the phones in use are not actually 5G ready. They are becoming available slowly, but tend to be the flagship phones in manufacturers’ ranges.

CES is the annual Consumer Electric Show which is happening right now in Las Vegas and 5G has a BIG presence there. 

It will be interesting to see when Apple launches a 5G ready iPhone - it looks like it will be in the range of models launched in September this year. Once Apple starts plugging 5G we will see rapid adoption of this technology.

 

The reality for most businesses

It is easy to get distracted with so-called “buzz words” and also the very latest cutting-edge tech. The three areas highlighted above are not that “out there”, but there are plenty of examples which, while interesting, are just not relevant for the majority of people or

Keeping technology accessible, useful, and realistic is something we are always trying to Technology for technology’s sake is often introduced within companies were not enough thought has been given to the process, the rollout, the actual experience within the business with the people using it and the problems it solves.

 

Our Print Management service and products are always connected closely with the Information Management service we offer. Alongside this is the Business Intelligence focused on making your data accessible and useful for making decisions.

We have a team of consultants who will work with you to ensure that what we deliver truly helps you improve the business / fix the problems that keep you up at night / eliminate the niggles which are proving to be wasting time and money. We don’t just offer copiers and printers… we offer solutions to fix your problems and pride ourselves on effectiveness combined with efficiency, rather than complexity.

The beginning of the year is often a great time to start a conversation. If you’d like to speak to someone about a problem you have in your business, we have open ears, good coffee

and the time to listen.

For more information on IT@Spectrum's products and services, click here.


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